OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED
CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED

Sharing Our Faith Together

Morning Worship for Sunday 14 June

by Peter Blount 14 June 2020
Greetings in the name of Jesus – Joy and peace to you all.

Call to Worship - Psalm 100:3

Know that the Lord is good. It is He who made us, and we are His, we are His people the sheep of His pasture.

In the light of recent news items and violent demonstrations this Psalm is a reminder that we are all God’s creation – whatever gender, race or social standing.

Please be quiet for a moment and reflect on those words.


Our First Hymn ‘All People that on Earth do dwell’

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Prayers

As a small but significant part of your creation we give you thanks that you lavish your attention on each of us as if we were the only one you made.

We thank you for the beauty and wonder that surrounds us, and even in difficult circumstances it makes our lives a joy and delight.

In these moments guide our individual silent prayers for those who suffer isolation, anxiety, illness and bereavement.

Especially, this morning, the Nelson family and the Lunt family.

For our church and the challenges of reopening as and when we are allowed.

For our nation’s stability and prosperity following lockdown and brexit.

For ourselves as we continue to work and witness for Jesus.

- SILENCE -

Thank you that you hear all our prayers offered in your name.

Amen

We share together the words Jesus taught us :-

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done;

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation;

but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

Reading – This is one of the lectionary readings set for today – it will be familiar to many. Please select a bible version of your choice and read prayerfully through this portion of scripture.

Gospel of Matthew 9:35 to 10:8


Our Second Hymn ‘Love Divine’

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It’s worth a few moments of reflection on those last four verses of Matthew Ch 9 that you have just read. So often in scripture, there is so much said and even more eluded to, in such a short passage of scripture.

‘Jesus went through all the towns and villages in the days of none of the mass communications, which we enjoy today, here is Jesus moving from place to place – attracting crowds, teaching, healing and preaching the good news of the kingdom. Having taken a single service of about an hour I am shattered – how must He have felt after all that?

The driving force behind His ministry was the knowledge that all these souls were lost to the kingdom of darkness without Jesus’ message of salvation. In fact, Jesus uses the familiar expression of sheep without a shepherd. He also knew there was limited time to share His message.

In the last two verses the disciples are the target of Jesus’ clear indication as to what they would be doing in the not so distant future. Again using the common place activities of the day to illustrate His meaning – He described the potential for a huge harvest and few to gather it.

Moving on to the eight verses in chapter 10 where Jesus sends out His twelve disciples with specific instructions on what to preach and to whom. I guess in today’s terms Jesus was outlining a common problem found in most churches today, and if we are honest in our own too. We spend lots of time teaching and preaching to ourselves, very often we give a gospel message to those who have heard it many times, responded and been accepted into the kingdom.

Jesus made it clear, that the work of spreading the gospel, of reaping a harvest of souls, of ‘converting’ individuals is not, and cannot be done from a church pew – we need to get out among the people, address the desperate need for comfort and stability in a very uncomfortable world.

There is a common expression used ‘It’s no good preaching to the converted’ this clearly sums up what this portion of scripture is trying to tell us.

As we gradually come out of lockdown, as individuals and as a church, our number one priority should not be how to restart the old but how to be radical, inventive and creative in accepting Jesus’ command from this passage and from the great commission at the end of Matthew’s gospel to get out into the world (our friends, neighbours and local community) and share the gospel message of salvation.


Our final Hymn – ‘Go Forth and Tell’

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Prayer

Gracious God thank you for your word to us this morning. As we rise from our worship give us the strength, despite all the restrictions and difficulties, to ‘Go forth and tell’ that your love, power and peace is fully available to any and all who will call on your name.

AMEN